I think it started when I found out that I would be moving into an unfurnished, four bedroom house for the year I was on internship. It could be because, in my contact with Supervising (before he became Supervising and was still Soon-to-be-Supervising), I told him I lived in a dorm room and did not have enough furniture to furnish this aforementioned house. It probably has something to do with the article that was printed in the congregation's newsletter before my arrival asking for donations and loans of furniture to help this poor, furnitureless intern have a comfortable house for a year. But for some reason, my house has become a home for unwanted and wayward furniture. It seems that when people get new furniture they think they need to give the old stuff to the parsonage. Or when someone inherits some unwanted furniture, they think they need to give it to the parsonage. Or when someone moves to a new house and needs to downsize, they think they need to give the extras to the parsonage. Or when someone will soon be getting married and moving into a new house the furniture that will one day be moved into this new house needs somewhere to go, so they think they can store it in the parsonage.
To illustrate this, let me give you a brief, virtual tour of my house. Here, let me get the door for you... Upon entering the house, it looks like any other house. But as soon as you walk in, you realize how it is drastically different. That's because in the living room you would find not one but two couches, a love seat, three upholstered chairs, one wooden chair, an end table, a coffee table and a round kitchen table that is there because I can't think of anywhere else to put it and don't want to move it upstairs by myself. So you walk through this obstacle course of furniture, turn to the right and see the dining room which has a dining room table, six chairs, a china cabinet, and four stools. Then there's the kitchen, and that has no extra furniture in it, so there's no need to dally here. Upstairs, in one bedroom we have a room filled with an older bedroom set (minus the bed) that someone inherited and didn't want. It was the first set of furniture to find its way to my house. In another room we have a dresser that was there when I got here. In the master bedroom, the furniture is sufficient (if a little gawdy, but it works). Downstairs, in the family room, we have two upholstered chairs, an ottoman, a couch, a love seat, a patio table (that my television sits on), a coffee table, and eight (count them eight) wooden chairs that go with various tables throughout the house. Then, if you go into my garage, you'll find an old television set (the kind in a wooden console), a wall mirror, several lamps, a microwave, a hope chest, a large, round wooden dining room table, and a dresser.
Some people take unwanted animals into their house, some give a home to children that need it. I seem to attract stray furniture.
At first, I didn't mind. I had lots of extra room. At that time I only had the weird dresser in the spare bedroom, the furniture in the master bedroom, a couch, loveseat, coffee table, end table and two chairs in the living room, four stools in the dining room, and two chairs, ottoman, couch, coffee table and loveseat in the family room. It was a manageable amount of furniture.
Then we got a call from some member that I had never met, and haven't seen since, whose mother had passed away and she had inherited a lot of furniture. She didn't want it in her house and wondered if the parsonage could use it. Because there was that once empty bedroom, I thought it would be no problem. Then someone donated the round kitchen table and four chairs because they had no need for them and knew I didn't have one. I gratefully accepted those, because then I could at least pretend that I ate at the table even though I always eat downstairs in front of the television. However, it started to go a bit downhill after that. Supervising's younger daughter is getting married, and was needing some furniture for the house she would be moving into with her soon-to-be-husband. An older couple was getting new furniture, and so they had a couch, loveseat and chair to give to her. The only thing is, they're not married yet, and they don't have the house into which they'll be moving. Supervising comes up with the idea that they can store it in my house until after the wedding. So, they came and moved into my living room. Then, our parish administrator was getting married and would be moving to a new house. This was to be her second marriage and they'd be consolidating households into one new house. So, she had some furniture she didn't need. This was the dining room table with six chairs, and the china cabinet. She said that sometime in the next week they'd be driving by to drop it off. I told her that I already had one, but she explained that this one would be much nicer, and besides, the previous intern had a table in the downstairs, too. That's how that furniture came to live in my house. I moved the round kitchen table out of the dining room and into the living room and the four chairs down into the family room. The hope chest in the garage arrived because the parish administrator found out someone had one to donate, and she wanted it for her new house. I helped her move it out of the house it came from and into my garage, where it is still sitting. She keeps saying they'll come get it, but they haven't yet.
The story that takes the cake happened today. Supervising got back from his trip down south. PD (PD is his older daughter, not his younger daughter who is getting married) came to show me some pictures she'd got developed from the lock in, and then told me that Supervising would be coming with a UHaul to the church. That was all she said. Well, around 3 the UHaul rumbles into the parking lot and Supervising starts unloading home health supplies donated by his wife's family to the church, that the church can use to loan out to people who need them. PD drives into the lot to help. I go outside to see if Supervising needs help moving stuff into the church. He says, "Not here... But we've got some stuff to put in the parsonage. Didn't PD tell you that?" I say that she said he'd be coming with a UHaul trailer, but not with stuff to move into the parsonage. She says she told me. She didn't, but whatever. There is a large wooden table, four chairs, and a dresser to be moved somewhere into the house. I reply with "Yippee! Now I'll have three dining room tables." At this point, I'm a bit disgruntled, but what can you do? So I help unload the chairs, which go into my family room. Then I help unload the table and dresser into the garage. He mentions that they are only their for a short time. So, obviously, they will probably go with the couch and that furniture when his other daughter gets married and gets a house. I'm so glad that I can store all of that crap for her...
I go back and forth about it. The furniture isn't cramping my lifestyle, at all. It takes up unused space in my house, and why shouldn't they store it there, for free, and not have to pay to keep it in storage? However, it is my house, and just because I do live by myself, it does not mean that I can be taken advantage of, and that my house should be used as free storage... So, I don't know what to think. Most of the time, I just get disgruntled, grumble to myself, then tell myself to suck it up and I don't say anything about it. I mean, what good would complaining do, anyway? And besides, there's that part of me that keeps telling me that it's no big deal. That side prevents me from saying anything.
Oh well, only about two more months left in that house anyway, right?